The second week of the 2019 NFL season is less than an hour away, and it’s the first divisional matchup of the year for the Minnesota Vikings, as they take to the road to battle the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The winner of this one will have sole possession of first place in the division and an early advantage over the rest of their division rivals.
Here’s everything that you need to know about today’s game.
Date and Time: Sunday, 15 September, 2019, 12:00 PM Central
Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Television coverage: KSTP-9 in the Twin Cities, FOX affiliates across the country, DirecTV Channel 712
Radio coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 99, XM Channel 226 (Green Bay feed only), SiriusXM App Channel 819
Line: Green Bay -3, Over/Under 43
Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 24, Packers 20
1) Establish offensive balance. . .the other way: Last week, we said that the Vikings needed to establish the run in order to balance things out with their offense. They responded by running the ball 38 times while attempting just 10 passes. I don’t think the “throw the ball 10 times” approach is going to work in this one, but the Vikings will still need to balance things on offense. Kirk Cousins needs to find Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and the rest of his targets early on. Dalvin Cook is still going to get his carries, but the offense is going to need more balance this afternoon if they want to move to 2-0.
2) Get after Aaron Rodgers - The Vikings have done a solid job of getting Rodgers on the ground in recent games, and the Packers as a whole still appear to be getting adjusted to their new offensive scheme. Rodgers is a master at getting outside of the pocket and making plays that way, so the Vikings’ defenders will have to keep him contained. Given the issues that the Vikings are having with injuries in the secondary, this might be even more important this week than it is most other weeks.
3) Keep the special teams groove going - Dan Bailey didn’t attempt a field goal last week, but he was dead center on all four of his extra point attempts. . .due to the flawless holding of Britton Colquitt, obviously. Speaking of Colquitt, he did a nice job punting the ball, too, though the Vikings’ coverage teams did let him down a bit. We saw the impact that special teams can have when these two teams met in Week 2 of last season, when the Packers got a blocked punt in the end zone for a score. On the road, you can’t give up big plays on special teams, and the Vikings need to make sure that doesn’t happen today.
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There you have it, folks! All of the first quarter discussion goes here, and we’ll have the Open Threads for each ensuing quarter up as soon as possible during the applicable breaks. Here’s hoping that the Vikings can put together a good, solid performance and come out of this one with a 2-0 record.